Every business has issues to address and employee complaints to resolve. An effective open-door policy can prevent these issues and simple complaints from becoming lawsuits by allowing an employee to freely report any concern to their management team in a private and confidential manner. It can be a cost-effective option for companies who struggle with how to manage employee complaints.
Many managers hesitate with open-door policies because they think that, while the method is useful in addressing complaints, it could very well result in a flood of employee meetings. But, this doesn’t have to be the case! Companies who strive to create partner-centered relationships with their employees can reap great benefits—here are a few.
Limit Outside Involvement
You’ve heard the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” right? Apply that idea to issues management at your company. By resolving issues internally, you can prevent outside media, gossip, and misquoted details, which can damage your organization’s reputation (and quickly, especially in the age of social media!). Protecting your business reputation within your organization and in the eyes of your community is imperative, and by dealing with your issues quickly and fairly, you’ll gain your employees’ respect.
Earn Employee Gratitude & Respect
People work harder when they enjoy what they are doing and feel engaged. Stress and unresolved issues at work can cause employees to feel unappreciated, which can lead to low performance, attendance issues, and even workplace conflict. Make sure your employees know they should go to your management team and report concerns first. By doing this, you’ll establish a system where most—if not all—issues are reported to the organization first, and employees trust that the “system works,” even if the concern is not resolved to their benefit.
Employee litigation is expensive and stressful for employers and employees. According to the United States Department of Labor, ex-employees who bring lawsuits tend to come from the ranks of managers and professionals (not from lower-level employees). Using an open-door policy as an alternative dispute solution can prove to be a less cost efficient method to resolve employee issues.